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Malik still on Bears radar

Birmingham Bears still have aspirations of re-signing experienced all-rounder Shoaib Malik for NatWest T20 Blast finals day at Edgbaston, according to director of cricket Dougie Brown.

The Pakistan international was instrumental for the Bears during his short stay, hitting 200 runs at an average of 40 as well as chipping in with four wickets in six matches.

Although Malik was unavailable for selection in their quarter-final victory at Essex Eagles due to his Caribbean Premier League commitments, Brown is hopeful of securing his services for the showpiece on the Bears' home ground next week.

Brown, whose side face Surrey in the first semi-final, said:  “Shoaib made a big impact in his time here with Birmingham Bears – scoring 200 runs at an average of 40 – so naturally we are keen to bolster the squad with his return for NatWest T20 Blast finals day.

“However, whilst both parties remain very keen to make this happen, there are still visa and administrative barriers that need to be overcome, and we are still unsure as to whether this can be completed in such a short time.

“Whilst we remain hopeful and have been very encouraged by his performances in the Caribbean Premier League – with 351 runs at an average of just under 44 – the team has excelled in the latter stages of the tournament and are very excited about the prospect of playing in finals day in front of our members and supporters at Edgbaston a week on Saturday.”

Experienced Pakistan international Shoaib Malik had a successful short-term stay with Birmingham Bears during the NatWest T20 Blast

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